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by Graham Mol

This morning the song Lean On Me by Bill Withers was going through my head. We used to sing the song in our primary school hymn singing. Although not a hymn itself, it does speak of the Christian quality of loving and supporting one another; about being there for each other. Something that we are called to do as the body of Christ, as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Lean On Me

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise,
We know that there’s always tomorrow.

Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show.

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand,
We all need somebody to lean on.

Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand,
We all need somebody to lean on.

If there is a load
You have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me.

There is such wisdom in these lyrics. It reminds me of the wisdom we find in the book of Eccelesiastes:

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. 10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Both the song lyrics, and the verses from the Bible highlight the importance of being able to “lean on” each other. When you are weak, you can lean on that friend, and receive their support, they can lift you up when you fall. Likewise, when the situation is reversed and that friend is the one who is strong, you can be that person for them to lean on. This is why “two are better than one”.

Life can get tough and we’re not always able to handle or carry the load. As the song states: “We all need somebody to lean on”. It is also important that we ask for help. You have to “swallow your pride… for no one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show.” So many go it alone because they don’t want to admit that they need help. We justify this by saying that we don’t want to burden others, but what we are in fact doing is depriving others of the opportunity to be that friend, to be that brother or sister in Christ, who exercises the love of God through helpfulness and care.

I have personally been reminded of what a blessing it is to be able to “lean on” others when you’re not strong. Just as I know what a privilege it is to help another who is in need. And so let me end this blog with one final chorus:

Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.

 

God Bless

Graham

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